Nothing feels better than smiling and laughing without any worries about the appearance of your teeth. If your teeth are crooked, overcrowded, or have gaps, braces can give you that self-confidence you’ve been missing. Dr. Bas Wafelbakker and Dr. Chris Anderson offer a wide variety of braces to meet every need, including virtually invisible InvisalignⓇ aligners for teens and adults and the advanced SureSmile® system.
Braces Q & A:
Q: When should children get their first orthodontic evaluation?
A: Children should come in for their first orthodontic evaluation around the age of seven. That doesn’t mean your child will need braces, or that they’ll get braces right away. It merely gives Dr. Wafelbakker and Dr. Anderson the opportunity to identify existing and potential problems and decide the best time to start treatment. With an early evaluation, orthodontic treatments can be timed to coincide with growth spurts, which helps ensure the best results.
Q:What dental problems are corrected with braces?
A: Braces can correct several dental issues, including:
Gaps between teeth
Misalignments, such as overbite, underbite, and crossbite
It’s natural to focus on how your appearance will improve after braces. However, there’s more at stake than just cosmetic changes. When your teeth and jaw aren’t correctly aligned, you’re at risk of developing problems such as:
Inability to chew food properly: affects digestion and nutrition
Uneven pressure when biting: can cause broken teeth
Cavities and gum disease: increased risk because teeth are hard to clean
Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder: causes headaches, earaches, and neck pain
Q: What are the different types of braces?
A: Braces apply continuous pressure to your teeth, which gradually makes them move in a specific direction. As your teeth move, the supporting tissues also change their position, including your jawbone, which grows new bone or eliminates old bone as needed to support the new position.
You can choose from several types of braces:
Traditional braces made of stainless steel brackets are attached to the front of each tooth.
These are also worn on the front of your teeth, but they blend in because the ceramic matches the color of your teeth.
A virtually invisible alternative to metal braces, clear plastic aligners are customized to fit over your teeth. You remove them to eat, brush, and floss; otherwise, you wear them all the time to move your teeth into their proper alignment gradually.
If you’re considering braces, call the team at Wafelbakker Anderson Orthodontics today or book a consultation online.
For children to chew their food and learn to talk, they need teeth that come in correctly, a bite that’s aligned, and a jaw that fits their teeth. Dr. Bas Wafelbakker, Dr. Chris Anderson, and the entire team at Wafelbakker Anderson Orthodontics have years of experience patiently and gently working with young patients whose health and appearance depends on orthodontics for children.
Children's Orthodontics Q & A:
Q: What should you expect from children’s orthodontics?
A: When your child needs orthodontic care, you want a team of professionals who truly enjoy children, understand their natural fears, and know how to connect with kids. That’s exactly what you’ll find at Wafelbakker Anderson Orthodontics, where everyone on the team takes the time to make sure the experience is positive — even fun — for children and their parents.
Q: What signs indicate a need for orthodontic care?
A: Early or late loss of baby teeth may be a sign that your child needs an orthodontic evaluation. Children have 20 baby teeth, which should all be in by age three. Their lower front teeth are usually the first to fall out around the age of six or seven. Each child’s development is different, but if your child is too far off from these guidelines, they may need an orthodontic evaluation. Other signs include:
Hard time chewing food
Finger or thumb sucking
Crowded or misplaced teeth
Jaws that pop, click, or hurt
Crooked front teeth around age seven or eight
Teeth that don’t meet properly
Jaws and teeth that aren’t proportionate to the face
Q: When should children have their first orthodontic evaluation?
A: Children should have their first orthodontic evaluation when all their baby teeth are in, and their first permanent teeth are about to appear (right around age seven). At this age, Dr. Wafelbakker or Dr. Anderson can identify problems that may exist and determine if permanent teeth are in their proper position. If it looks like a problem may develop, your orthodontist can plan treatments to coincide with growth spurts. Orthodontic treatments produce the best results while the jawbone is still maturing.
Q: What dental problems are corrected with orthodontics?
A: Dr. Wafelbakker and Dr. Anderson specialize in correcting problems such as:
Misaligned, crooked, or crowded teeth
Gaps between teeth
Malocclusions, such as overbite and underbite
Disorders of the jaw joint
Correcting these problems improves your child’s appearance while also protecting their health. When their teeth and jaw aren’t properly aligned, children are at risk for:
Inability to chew food properly, leading to digestive and nutrition problems
Uneven pressure biting, leading to broken teeth
Difficulty cleaning teeth, leading to cavities and gum disease
Jaw dysfunction, leading to teeth misalignment and headaches
If you have any concerns or questions about your child’s dental health, please call Wafelbakker Anderson Orthodontics or book a consultation online.
It’s exciting to have your braces removed and see your beautiful smile, but your orthodontic journey isn’t over. You’ll need to wear a retainer to be sure your teeth don’t move back into their pre-braces position. Dr. Bas Wafelbakker and Dr. Chris Anderson offer several types of retainers, and they even use retainers to straighten teeth for some patients.
Retainers Q & A:
Q: What is a retainer?
A: A retainer is a custom-made dental appliance that serves one of two purposes:
It’s essential to wear a retainer after your braces are removed or when you finish wearing the full series of Invisalign aligners. The retainer prevents your teeth from moving back to their original position.
Some patients can wear a retainer instead of braces to straighten their teeth. This option may be possible when you have a minor case of teeth misalignment or overcrowding.
Q: Why do you need a retainer?
A: When your teeth are straightened or moved into better alignment, your jawbone also changes. In a process called remodeling, it grows new bone and eliminates old bone as needed to support the new position of each tooth.
Remodeling takes many months, and until it’s complete, your teeth can move out of their new alignment.
Q: How long will you wear a retainer?
A: Dr. Wafelbakker or Dr. Anderson determines how long you’ll need to wear your retainer based on your teeth and the purpose of your retainer. They’ll provide specific recommendations about how many hours to wear the retainer each day, as well as how long you’ll need to wear it.
Q: Are there different types of retainers?
A: There are two basic types of retainers:
These retainers consist of a wire that’s bonded to your teeth so it can’t be removed. Your orthodontist can place the wire behind your teeth, so it’s not very visible.
Removable retainers are made from different materials. If your wore Invisalign aligners, you can get retainers made from the same clear plastic material. They can also be made from a wire that goes around the front of your teeth and is held in place by an acrylic piece that fits behind your teeth.
The best type of retainer depends on your preferences, your age, and your orthodontist’s recommendations to achieve or maintain proper alignment. Young children who may be tempted to remove their retainer may see better results with a fixed retainer.
Please call Wafelbakker Anderson Orthodontics or schedule a consultation online if you have any questions about retainers or straightening your teeth.
When you need to straighten your teeth or correct a problem with your bite, Invisalign® offers a virtually invisible alternative to traditional metal braces. Dr. Bas Wafelbakker and Dr. Chris Anderson are certified providers of Invisalign® for teens and adults.
Invisalign Q & A
Q: What is Invisalign?
A: Invisalign® is a removable plastic dental appliance that's clear, and works similar to traditional braces to move teeth.
Q: How do you get Invisalign® aligners?
A: After an examination, Dr. Wafelbakker or Dr. Anderson talks with you about your dental needs and whether Invisalign® is the best choice. If you decide to get Invisalign, your orthodontist uses digital scanning to create 3D images of your teeth.
Using the images, your orthodontist maps out a precise treatment plan showing how the position of each tooth must move to achieve your proper alignment. After the plan is drawn up, you’ll know how long your treatment will last. You’ll also get a preview of how your teeth will look when your treatment is over.
Q: How does Invisalign® work?
A: Your treatment plan is sent to the Invisalign® lab, where experts produce a series of plastic aligners customized for your mouth and realignment plan. Each aligner in the series has a slightly different shape. The change in each aligner adds new pressure that gradually changes the position of your teeth.
You wear the first aligner for 1-2 weeks then replace it with the second aligner. You’ll continue to replace your current aligner with the next one until you finish wearing the entire series. By the time you put away the last aligner, your teeth are in their new aligned positions.
Q: Can you remove the aligners?
A: Invisalign® aligners fit snugly and comfortably over your teeth, yet they’re also easy to remove. You can take them out to eat, brush, and floss; otherwise, they should stay in place. You’ll need to wear them 20-22 hours a day to achieve the planned results.
Q: Will you need a retainer after an Invisalign® treatment?
A: When you reach the end of your treatment, you’ll need to wear a retainer to prevent your teeth from moving back to their original position. The good news is that Invisalign® also offers clear retainers, Vivera® retainers, so you can continue to maintain your new smile without anyone noticing.
MULTILOOP EDGEWISE ARCHWIRE (MEAW):
If you can’t get relief from jaw pain or migraines, or you’ve been told that surgery is your only treatment option for TMJ disorder, you now have an effective, nonsurgical alternative: multiloop edgewise archwire (MEAW). Dr. Bas Wafelbakker at Wafelbakker Anderson Orthodontics is one of the few orthodontists trained in this innovative procedure that correctly positions your jaw and helps you avoid surgery.
Multi-loop Edgewise Archwire Q & A
Q: What is multiloop edgewise archwire (MEAW)?
A: MEAW is a nonsurgical orthodontic treatment for patients who would usually require surgery to realign their jaws. With this procedure, Dr. Wafelbakker and Dr. Anderson can help 80-90% of patients with jaw problems avoid surgical intervention.
Q: What is jaw surgery?
A: Braces are normally used to correct misaligned teeth and jaws. When your jaw misalignment is severe, braces will straighten your teeth, but they may not be sufficient to move your jaw.
Your treatment options are limited when braces can't correct a jaw problem. That’s when parents are often told their child needs jaw surgery to fix the problem. Jaw surgery, called orthognathic surgery, involves moving the bones of your upper jaw, lower jaw, or both. It also means a long recovery period. MEAW treatment helps eight out of 10 patients avoid surgery.
Q: Can MEAW treat temporomandibular joint disorder?
A: Problems with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), or jaw joint, lead to jaw pain, migraines, and pain throughout your face and ears. Injury and degeneration in the joint can cause TMJ disorder, but it often arises from a misaligned jaw.
TMJ disorder is another condition with limited traditional treatment options that include pain relievers, wearing a mouth guard, and surgery. The MEAW procedure, however, also helps TMJ disorder. As it aligns your jaw, it relieves problems with the joint.
Q: What does the MEAW procedure involve?
A: The first step is to straighten your teeth, so the MEAW procedure begins with regular braces and wires. When your teeth are in their proper position, Dr. Wafelbakker makes a scan of your mouth and uses that to create the crucial part of MEAW: specialized multiloop wires produced on-site by Dr. Wafelbakker.
The same brace brackets stay on your teeth, but Dr. Wafelbakker replaces the regular wire with multiloop wires, then uses rubber bands in specific places on your new wires. The unique multiloop and rubber band combination moves your teeth in a way that gently forces your jaw to move into its proper position.
It only takes six months for the multiloop wires and rubber bands to correct your bite. Then Dr. Wafelbakker removes the multiloop wires and puts regular wires back on your braces. On average, the total treatment time is 14 months.
If you’re unhappy with your crooked or overcrowded teeth, or your bite is out of alignment, SureSmile® braces can solve the problem in less time than traditional braces. Dr. Bas Wafelbakker and Dr. Chris Anderson proudly offer SureSmile orthodontic care as an option for children, teens, and adults.
Suresmile Q & A
Q: What is SureSmile?
A: SureSmile is a brand of braces created using advanced technology that improves their effectiveness. You can choose SureSmile braces that attach to the front or the back side of your teeth. Dr. Wafelbakker and Dr. Anderson can discuss the pros and cons of each type with you and recommend the one that’s best for your dental needs.
Q: What problems are corrected with SureSmile braces?
A: SureSmile braces make all the same improvements as traditional braces, giving you a better-looking smile and a proper bite by correcting issues such as:
Crooked or twisted teeth
Spaces between teeth
Incorrect jaw alignment
Misaligned teeth, such as underbite, overbite, crossbite, and overcrowding
Q: How are SureSmile braces made?
A: The procedure for getting SureSmile braces follows three steps:
1. Advanced Orthopedic Surgery
Your orthodontist scans your teeth using advanced imaging technology with the 3Shape TRIOS Scanner®. The digital image is used to create a 3D computer model of your teeth, which your orthodontist uses to examine the position of your teeth from every angle and precisely plan how each tooth must move to achieve proper alignment.
2. Prescriptive Treatment Planning
The 3D model allows the doctors to evaluate and fine-tune your bite along the inside biting surface that they would otherwise be unable to see.
3. Robotic Accuracy
When your treatment plan is established the doctors set the final positions of your teeth in the SureSmile software, and a robot bends a customized wire for your particular case.
A shape-memory wire remembers its original shape. After it’s bent, it gradually returns to that shape as it’s heated. Body heat activates the special alloy used to make your SureSmile archwire.
As the wire returns to its original shape, it delivers a constant but gentle force that moves your teeth into their final position.
Q: What other benefits can you expect from SureSmile?
A: Your SureSmile braces use the same technique as traditional braces, but their unique shape-memory wire delivers benefits such as:
Comfortable treatment: wires move consistently and gradually, without manual adjustment
Fewer visits: accuracy achieved through technology means fewer office visits
Quality results: robotic bending is more precise than traditional wires that are manually shaped
Call the team at Wafelbakker Anderson Orthodontics to learn more about SureSmile braces, or book a consultation online.
Please call Wafelbakker Anderson Orthodontics or schedule a consultation online if you have any questions about any of the services we offer.